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“Pura Vida!!!!”

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Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Pura Vida!!!!”
Reviewed 22 July 2011

This local phrase meaning pure life truly described our experience completely at Rio Celeste. We decided on this resort based on the overwhelming positive feedback. With such high expectations, we were still finding ourselves blown away by the warm and friendly staff and the accommodating management. Flying into San Jose, we rented a car and planned to drive. We never made it there due to a flat tire and had to turn around because the sun was setting. We reluctantly stayed in San Jose but called rio to let them know we couldn't make it. They were more than accomodating and did not charge us for that night. The drive was three hours until you turn onto a bumpy dirt roadmap then drive another hour (15 miles only) but it is so rocky it takes a long time. Just when we thought there is no way there could be a resort out in the middle of no where, we drove up a huge hill and there it was. So beautiful exactly like the pictures.

We were so impressed by the service and the way they cheerfully greeted us by our names really left a lasting impression.

We took several tours with a guy named Odir throuh the hotel. He was so helpful and was great pointing out monkeys, birds, lizards, frogs, snakes and more.

If you are someone who is looking for exciting night life or a plethora of dining options, this may not be the place for you. The one restaurant on site was amazing. My husband and I are extreme travelers and foodies and we found it to be priced well. Generous portions and absolutely delicious food. When we got there they had just hired a new cook weeks before and he was fab. I recommend the Tico soup. I had it 5 times in three days. My husband loved the casado. After this venture we also stayed in FortunA at the nayara resort. The prices there and in town were much more expensive than rio Celeste.
Upon leaving the resort at Rio Celeste we were actually hugging the friends we made that worked there. Carlos, grevein, and gustavo to name a few of the unforgettable people. We will never forget the way they made our honeymoon the best trip ever. Grevein even decorated a table for us when we had dinner with beautiful flower petals when he learned it was our honeymoon!
When we drove away greiven ran out to our car and gave us two beautiful hand carved and painted pieces of costa divan art that his friend made. We were so blown away by this gesture. We loved rio so much that when we got to nayara next, we were so homesick for rio we thought no one could ever live up to that experience. And no one has! You won't be disappointed with your adventure here!!!! Enjoy! Pura Vida!!!!!

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TSnizzle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2011

We had a quick trip 3 night stay in Costa Rica, which the only thing wrong with our trip. Everything exceeded all expectations. Next time we go back (which will hopefully be sooner rather than later) we will plan to stay at the Rio Celeste if not the whole time at least the majority.

We rented a car and drove from La Fortuna to Rio Celeste Hideout, which was an hour and 30 min. It would be shorter but the last 30 min are bumpy and rocky dirt roads and there isn't much you can do to speed up that process. You really drive through rural parts Costa Rica and wonder if you are going to the right place.

It is called the Hideout for a reason, this hotel (and by hotel I mean heaven) is located at the very top of the hill at which I can only imagine is the end of the road. Upon arrival we were greeted with a drink, our bags were gathered in a golf cart and told to just relax, enjoy and take a walk around the site.

The service is spectacular. We were taken out to our casita (#17 - great location looking out straight into the rainforest) by golf cart. I have to say that I've found my dream bedroom. Pictures don't do this place justice. The dark wood against white and bright colors is perfect with the green backdrop of the rainforest. Be sure to enjoy a private outdoor shower that is perfectly landscaped.

This is the nicest and most romantic place I've ever stayed at. The pool is one of the prettiest pools I've seen and has 3 hot tubs surrounding it (the hot tub in the very back is the hottest). Be sure to go to the hot tub at night and you'll get to hear howling monkeys!

The restaurant had impeccable service and very good food. Try the tortilla soup (and try not to eat it in 2 minutes)! You can relax as much or do as much activity at Rio Celeste, they have all the tours you need and can be arranged for you.

If you are looking to go on a hike on your own, there is a path between Casita #19 and #20 that will lead you all the way down to the river below. It isn't marked but we ended up finding it on our own and was one of our favorite experiences.

It was raining the majority of the time we were at Rio Celeste and with the short amount of time we were there we didn't get to see the water at its finest (electric blue color) but, it was still so incredibly beautiful and I can't wait to return.

I could go on and on forever about this place and we were only there for 17 hours. It is a true gem and great value for your money! Pura Vida!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Meghan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grand Cayman
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2011

beautifull place and amazing service!!!
very romantic !!! We stay 2 night but 3 nights is better!
is a luxury 5 start small hotel; hiding in the beautifull jungle !
The food was very expensive for the quality...but we find a Soda Irma just down the road and the local Costa Rican food there was delicioso !! fresh tilapia meal with a drink and tortillas for only $5!! Rio celeste tour is a most do! we did have a car so we did Cano Negro Tour in our own.

Room Tip: Casita # 27 & #28 are the best view
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sunny9347
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2011

We stayed 2 nights and loved the hotel and scenery.

Rooms:

GREAT…We had room in the back of the resort facing the jungle and we were very pleased with all the amenities the room offered. The room had a large bed, cold A/C, great flat screen tv and beautiful outdoor shower. The Room also had a refrigerator and coffee maker. Outdoor seating on the deck offered a great spot to relax in the AM.

Pool:

Large pool with 3 hot tubs.

Resort:

It took us 30 minutes on a gravel road to get to the resort. They have secure parking and is 500 meters from the national park. The resort offers free internet in the lobby with 2 computers and also free skype.
The grounds are full of ginger plants and the paths are lighted.

FOOD:

This was the only problem with the resort and if you read other reviews others say the same thing about the bad food.
Breakfast was the best meal and if you book the resort with breakfast included you get coffee, bread basket, fruit plate and a choice of either fried eggs of scrambled eggs. If you want something else there is a charge.
We only ate once at the resort for dinner and that was enough. I ordered the French onion soup and it was horrible. They put a piece of burnt American single slice cheese on top of onion water with croutons. Then the country salad had yellow broccoli and mushy cauliflower with wilted lettuce. My husband ordered shrimp and they were not cleaned. The vegetables were overcooked and the fries undercooked. I have never returned a meal before but I did this time and the waiter was offended that I did not like the food and kept asking why??? If I was management I would hire a new cook and put more Costa Rican dinners on the menu. The food was also pricey of 18 dollars per meal and soups/salads are around 6 dollars. We actually ordered a bday cake before we arrived and never asked for it after the dinner meal.
TIP: great restaurant 500 meters from the hotel at the national park entrance. 10 different meal options for around 7 dollars. Super clean and great food. If you don’t have a car you can walk just down the road. Go out of hotel turn right at the big boulder turn into park entrance and the restaurant is right there…open till 7 pm. Also a little bit down the road a blue shack is another great restaurant …a older Costa Rican lady makes amazing food. Very clean and safe and around 7 dollars per plate. This cantina is open till 9 pm.

Hiking:

You do not need a guide to hike the park. It is 10 dollars per person to enter and I think its best to enter at the main entrance (out hotel to right 500 meters down)
Its one way up and one way down. They will draw you a little map at the entrance of the park if you ask. Bring bathing suit to swim in falls and hot springs.

Drive:

We rented a suv from Liberia airport and the drive was easy and took around 3 hours. Great roads and signs are in English.
Workers at the resort speak a little English…Tours from the resort are on the pricey side and so is the spa. We booked direct thru the hotel website and we got the room with breakfast, welcome drink and fruit plate in room for a great price. We did have to ask for the fruit plate a few times but we ended up getting a great fruit bowl delivered to the room. We also had to ask for the welcome drink. The young lady who met us did not speak the best English but that was no concern for us.

Summary:

Great hotel …we would stay here again but hope they hire a new cook or restaurant manager…

Would have given it 5 stars but the food brought it down a star!

Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Grayce_The_Super_Cat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2011

Four of us went to this place for a weekend, it's one of the best trips I've ever done: relaxing, romantic, delicious food, excellent service, beautiful views and rooms.... hoghly reccommended :) Dying to go back again

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Anita_Med
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 May 2011

Gorgeous place. Went for 12 days in 4 different hotels; this was the best hotel. Best service, most relaxing, and most beautiful. The one issue is location - its right by Rio Celeste, as advertised, but a pain to get to. It's definitely worth it though.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank djm44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2011

When we first inquired into this hotel and we were told the Rio Celeste was “300 mts from the hotel”, we thought great! Since we were travelling with two toddlers we wanted to be as close as possible. What we didn’t realize was that, yes, Rio Celeste is 300 mts away, but not the really blue section with the waterfall that you see in all the pictures. That is actually a 4-hour round-trip hike, impossible with a 2yo and 4yo. Since they knew we were traveling with two young children when we booked, it would have been nice for them to let us know this before we confirmed our reservation: that we would not be able to visit the main attraction (and reason people come) to this area. No problem, we thought, we’ll just get a babysitter for a few hours so, at least, my husband and I could visit the river. So we tried to set this up ahead of time with enough notice, only to be informed that the hotel does not offer this service. While I understand the hotel not providing this service personally, every hotel we have visited in Costa Rica with our children the last few years is willing to, at least, look for someone in the community who wants to make a little extra money and, in turn, keeping their guests happy. Hideaway, however, would not do anything. Just the difference between great customer service and mediocre, in our opinion. In light of this, we decided that the 3 nights we had booked there was going to be too long, and decided to change our reservation to 2 nights. They would not extend any consideration and we would have to pay for that 3rd night in full anyway. Not a great start.

The Good:
The lobby and rooms at the hotel are beautiful, I’m sure the best in the area. Great use of bold colours throughout the hotel. We loved the huge bathroom with outdoor shower and Jacuzzi tub, and it was nice having a DVD player and TV when it was raining outside. Comfortable beds and linens. Beautiful furniture (loved the carved chairs on the deck!) The standard nightly rate is on the low side, especially in the Green Season.

The Bad:
-The food was indescribably bad, really awful, probably the most consistently bad food we’ve had in any hotel we’ve ever stayed at. It became a running joke to us; even my kids wouldn’t eat it, and they’re great eaters. There is no way such a nice hotel should serve what we were served, especially at the prices they charge for it. Tip: for good food, go to Dona Irma’s down the road, great ‘soda’ run by a lovely Costa Rican lady.
-No cribs available, not even a pack n play, so my 2 year old kept falling of the bed. Had we known, we could have brought one from home, but we’ve never stayed at a luxury or budget hotel that couldn’t provide one.
-They had an issue with frogs/tadpoles in the pool, which we know to be common during their mating season in May (we live in CR and have a pool ourselves), but they closed it off with yellow tape our first day there, and never bothered to clean it or shock it while we were there. We occasionally would see workers standing around and talking about it, but nobody seemed eager to actually do something about it. They could have had it fixed in 24 hours (again, we have experience in these matters), but didn’t. They finally got the vacuum out the morning we were leaving. Since the pool and hot tubs were one of the reasons we booked this hotel (again, 2 small children) and they couldn’t visit the Rio Celeste lagoon, this was a big disappointment to my children. No discount whatsoever was given for this issue, which I would have thought would have been a given.

Would recommend to couples and families with older children, but they really need to improve the food in such a remote location!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BTMJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
azaragovia, Owner at Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, responded to this review, 25 May 2011
First and foremost, please let us extend our apologies for the inconveniences that occurred during your stay at Rio Celeste Hideaway. We take any and all feedback very seriously, as we feel that ensuring good customer service is of the utmost importance.

In response to some of your concerns, we have already ordered pack and plays for the hotel. We also held a meeting to address your recent comments. Regarding the food at the hotel, we are constantly working to improve the quality and flavors on our menu. We will also ensure that any further issues with frogs or tadpoles in the pool will be addressed promptly and efficiently. Our staff has also been counseled to advise hotel guests regarding the length of the hike to the water falls, in particular with regard to the physical rigors of this excursion that may not be appropriate for elderly guests or young children. We also apologize for charging you for the third night of your stay. Our hotel policy is to cancel charges for additional nights when our guests decide to shorten their stay. Please send us your mailing address so that we may reimburse you.

Unfortunately, we unable to offer babysitting services at Rio Celeste. This is a significant liability for our hotel and staff. The safety of our guests is paramount, and as such, we cannot in good conscience assure that a local person coming to care for our guests’ children would be a responsible and well-intentioned individual.

We thank you kindly for your compliments on our casitas, and are thrilled that you enjoyed the amenities of the room. We hope that we have adequately addressed your concerns, and hope you consider staying with us again in the future. As always, at Rio Celeste Hideaway, our primary goal is to ensure that our guests have a great and memorable stay.
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Additional Information about Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel

Property: Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel
Address: La Paz de Rio Celeste | 1 kilometer southeast of the Tenorio Volcano National Park., Tenorio Volcano National Park 21304, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Tenorio Volcano National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tenorio Volcano National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rio Celeste Hideaway is a boutique, gourmet and ecologically orientated hotel. It provides a world of comfort and style surrounded by an untouched natural paradise. This hidden hotel is located in the middle of the Rainforest adjacent to the Tenorio Volcano National Park where the amazing Rio Celeste lies. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, each one of its 26 spacious casitas (bungalows) provides an exclusive retreat in which guests can relax amidst the breathtaking rainforest. ... more   less 
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